Disappearing Neon: How Artists Around the World Are Saving Neon Culture
Recently, many neon sign-makers from Hong Kong expressed concern that the art form of neon sign-making will disappear. The iconic neon signboards found on Hong Kong’s streets are gradually being replaced by LED lights. Master Wu Zhikai (one of Hong Kong’s last remaining neon sign masters) is one. He has been making signs for more than 30 years.
Master Hu Zhikai explained to Xinhuanet during an interview that he first learned how to make custom neon signs in his teens. However, he now has his original studio moved to a Kwai Chung Industrial Building, which has a 30 square meter area, which is too small for making neon lighting. Hu Zhikai has received very few orders this month. Liu Wen was also an industry worker in Hong Kong and is a co-worker of Hu Zhikai. He expressed concern about the possibility of losing this craft.
Hu Zhikai a neon master is Hong Kong’s second youngest. However, no one of the remaining ten neon masters has anything to teach them. Hu Zhikai indicated that, like any industry, new blood will flow if the business is growing. “If there are no new members to the industry, there will be no businesses.”
Every day, custom neon signs from all over the globe get demolished
Sir William Ramsay (a distinguished Scottish chemist) discovered a gas resistant to liquefaction that turned bright red when electrified. This gas was named “neon”. My country was the first country to use neon advertising. It was in China, in 1926. Shanghai Far East Chemical Manufacturing Factory was responsible for the creation of my country’s very first neon lamp. This lamp was then used in Shanghai Central Hotel. My country gradually began to use neon lights in the 1930s. There were more than 30 neon factories in the country by 1949. But neon lights are gradually being removed from peoples’ vision.
One of Hong Kong’s most distinctive cultural features is the neon light billboards. These neon lights, which are interconnected, signal the wealth and excitement in Hong Kong. These neon lights are brightly colored and help visitors to Hong Kong understand the vibrant night. Many Hong Kong residents see neon signs not only as a sign to do business but also as a source of information about Hong Kong’s film and television culture. Wong Karwai has directed “Chongqing Forest”, as well as “Fallen Angels,” where neon lights play a crucial role in the plot development and shaping of characters’ psychology.
A huge neon cow hangs from a Hong Kong steakhouse’s western area. It has become a landmark. Sammy Restaurant is where this sign was made. The neon sign was made by the master, who thought the cow would look better if it had longer legs. The sign was made by an Angus cow. It is the only worldwide blue-and-white cow to have four legs. The Hong Kong Buildings Department saw the signboard as unsafe and decided to remove it. It was demolished on August 15, 2015. It was demolished in August 2015. The master who created the neon signs stated that Hong Kong’s architecture became more exact. New billboards are now made with custom neon signs. They don’t radiate the warmth of neon light. However, the advantages are their lower cost, easier maintenance, longer service life, and better overall quality.
A famous scene in Shanghai was the custom neon signs. In Shanghai, there was a famous bamboo branch poem that said: “How bright were the trees and silver blossoms, and there’s a lot of lights in the Western business contest.” The electric glow is used as a signboard. There are also thousands of stars everywhere. This poem depicts Shanghai’s nightlife. Shanghai nightlife is made more vibrant by the brilliant lights. While you might be able to see some old neon signs in Shanghai, they are not common. Victor Chiang (a photographer) was fascinated by Shanghai’s neon night scene. He took many photographs of Shanghai at Night. Many photos capture the old streets dotted with neon lights. But it’s becoming less common to see authentic neon lights.
The great occasion of neon lights has passed away in the west. Vancouver, Canada, was once known for being the “Neon Capital”. Advertising used neon lights in 1950 for public relations. Decorations outside churches used neon lights as well. Vancouver’s production of neon lights in striped patterns was the best in the world. On average there was one neon sign to light up 18 people or 12 factories. This was also where the largest neon light was found in the entire world. With the development of commercial technology, neon light has not fallen off its feet.
Neon lights possess a unique artistic potential
The Paris Motor Show 1910 was the first occasion that neon lights made their debut. The neon lights on the exterior of this building emitted different colors than the previous, which attracted everyone’s attention. It is not possible to use neon lights indoors. Instead, they are best used outdoors in commercial areas as well as street signs. The most popular neon lights are used in barbershops. Later, they spread to all parts of the city. Paris’ urban spirit makes neon lights a great match. After a while, neon lighting was introduced to the United States. The neon lights were featured at the New York World Fair in 1939. Many companies were ready to use neon lights as a way to promote their products.
Apart from the commercial glory, neon lights also participated actively in the “political promotion” of Eastern European states. The Soviet Union attempted to rival Western countries in strength by “ionizing” Eastern European capitals starting in 1960. Many public buildings in Warsaw have neon lights. Eastern European citizens look out at the world and see a lot of old-fashioned political slogans.
Neon lights aren’t just decorative but also have artistic value. It has been used in many science fiction novels as a background and greatly encouraged the development of cyberpunk. It has become the backdrop of sci-fi movie cyberpunk, as can be seen in several stark contrasts. These include the opposition between prosperity or decadence, the interlacing reality, and future, and the contrast between rich and poor. This creates a feeling of interlaced space and time.
Cyberpunk is an area of science fiction that depicts “a mix of high technology & low life”. Cyberpunk authors often draw on elements from detective fiction, film noir, postmodernism, and other genres to reveal a side of digital societies in the last 20 years of the 20th Century. Cyberpunk is a dystopian vision of the future that many people saw in the late 20th century. This is because cyberpunk has a style that interlaces light and shadow. The adapted movies often use neon lights as the elements. Image credit: Cyberpunk conception via Sergii Golotovskiy
Pop Art development in the 20th century was also greatly influenced by neon lights. Pop Art is now an established art form, but its profound influence on American culture is not. Pop Art has been a major booster of American culture. Pop Art has been the driving force behind the rise of anti-art movements throughout America in the 1960s. Pop artists were heavily influenced by American consumerism. These artists have used neon-colored elements in their art to great effect.
Artists can save art in many different ways
Even though neon lighting is increasingly replaced with energy-saving LED lamps, and it’s becoming more difficult to spot neon signboards along the streets, many people begin to feel the loss of this form of culture. Various regions and artists have different approaches to saving this visual culture.
Many countries and regions created neon light museums to conserve these custom neon signs. California’s Museum of Neon Art houses several different neon signs. As you walk into the museum, you’ll see many different neon signs at various locations. The museum holds a collection containing neon signs salvaged from old, disused, and thrown-out neon signs. The most common source of neon signs was found to be abandoned garbage. The museum opened in New York City, triggering a nostalgic wave. These neon signs are a reminder of the light that once shone through the city in this century. This art is being saved by many curators and artists in Hong Kong. It was important for the identity of Hong Kongers. The M+ Museum focuses on collecting neon signs in Hong Kong. This museum specializes in collecting online photos of neon signs and some demolished ones. It was once quite sad to see the Sammy neon cow go. But it’s now in the M+ Museum.
From February 24th to the 10th, 2019, an art exhibit called “City Street*Signboard” will be displayed near Oil Street in North Point, Hong Kong Island. They believe that neon signs on the streets have been an integral part of Hong Kong’s urban history, and have contributed to shaping its urban appearance. Kevin and Ken, both founders and architectural experts, are trying to bring attention to the artistic value and unique features of neon signs by installing lighting fixtures called “City Street*Signboards”.
Many artists found a different way to save the neon art form. NameGlo was established by Lena Imamura & Sas Simon in 2014. The company produces custom neon lamps and mainly applies them to interior design. NameGlo believes neon signs should be considered more of a work of art than a decoration for the home. Its unique point allows customers to customize neon lights to suit their artistic styles. Lena Imamura says that neon sign artwork is still of great importance in modern art. “We hope that through services such as our company, the distance between neon signs and customers can be reduced,” she said. The art of neon is not considered dead. Someone created an account at neon new york city on ins. For many, neon lights are more than a symbol of nightlife or economic prosperity.